Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The New Year starts...NOW!

The weather’s pretty grey at the moment – & has been quite gusty at times – and is still rather damp up underfoot Even so, I went to the Hill yesterday with the aim of getting some of the green manure in plot D dug in. It’s about 6” tall & I’m hoping that by digging it in now, it will have rotted down ready for me to sow broad beans & peas by the end of January – or the middle of February at the latest.

I have to say that sowing the green manure in rows has been a fabulous success – not only can you get your spade easily between the rows, but the rows also form a guide for digging so that it minimises (but does not actually eliminate!) the number of times that you turn the same bit over twice, thus bringing the clod BACK up to the surface again…

I dug a couple of PARSNIP (gladiator) – which are just as big as the earlier sown white gem – & a CABBAGE (primo II) & when I got home I made some spiced parsnip soup to a Sarah Raven’s recipe from her Garden Cookbook which is excellent.

Just as I was leaving the Hill, I saw Teacher Barry driving up who told me that Novice Neighbour Jody’s wife has had a little boy (7lb 6oz) & mother & baby are well & are now home, so my best wishes to the whole family – I wonder how long it will be until we see Junior Jody being introduced to the delights of the allotment!

With the shortest day having been & gone, it’s technically getting lighter in the evenings now (not that you’d know it yet) but it does mean that I feel justified in starting this growing season off by getting one or two things sown. Hurrah!

When we went to the Malvern Autumn Show we met David & Kazzi (from Evington, Leicestershire) who kindly let us have some SHALLOTS (hative de niort & banana), so although one or two have gone soft (lesson in storage learnt there…) I still managed to pot up 9 hative de Niort & 3 banana shallots which are now outside in the courtyard & will all be transplanted to the Hill once the green manure in plot B is dug in & rotted down & then will be left to go to seed for next year.

Inside, in my new 20 pot seed-&-cutting tray I’ve sown some ONION (ailsa craig), CAULIFLOWER (all the year round) & SPRING ONION (ishikura), all of which taught me that a 20 pot seed-&-cutting tray is nowhere near adequate in size...


  1. Hazel, the banana shallots will run straight to seed but the hative de niort will split like traditional shallots and give you a whole heap more. They are a great variety for showing.


  2. Cheers, David -

    So, with the hative de niort I can save some of the shallots which will grow this year for planting the following year, or will they run to seed at some point?

    I do hope that I will have some good enough for the Hill show!

  3. Hazel, you can indeed save them. The ones you have are ones saved from this years crop. Unless seriously stressed they wont run to seed as they propogate by forming more bulbs.


  4. Fab! Thank you for that, and - of course - for the sets.


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